Review: Following the much anticipated release of "Freedom" on Watergate a few weeks ago, Milan"s Stephan Jolk is back with this riveting new effort for Matador"s Rukus imprint. The Afterlife staple delivers another dose of emotionally charged techno on "About My Dreams", awash in an rich sonic tapestry of mesmerising sounds, all underpinned by a pumping and adrenalised groove. Second offering "Flowers Of Evil" keeps the dancefloor drama in effect, similarly utilising strong melodic chord progressions for maximum euphoric effect.
Review: Irish techno veteran Matador is back to present the latest offering on his ever reliable Rukus imprint. This one is titled "Eightball", a haunting expression in dancefloor drama. Utilizing a seething yet restrained bassline in an elaborate arrangement, plus a spellbinding melody that accentuates the tension and suspense lurking in the background. This is followed by the glassy-eyed and bittersweet progressive house epic "Higher", getting you into the mood by way of its seductive vocals and mesmerising layers of texture.
Review: Having already featured both tracks on his recent Essential Mix, Skream now makes DUNNN available to fans and DJs. Drawing on the heritage of tough New York house, the title track centres on tough drums and a driving rhythm that underpins soulful vocal samples. By adding incessant percussion and repetitive riffs to the arrangement, Skream lends it a contemporary electronic edge. On "Tramadollied", he opts for a different approach. Laying down a pulsating groove and adding in outer space bleeps, he delivers a brooding, somewhat bleak techno track that's equally suited to big rooms and small basements. Long may his house and techno fixation last.
Review: Matador's Rukus label goes from strength to strength, after serving up kiler arsenal of late from the likes of Joran Van Pol, Lorenzo Bartoletti and the boss man himself. Their next projectile is launched by Manchester-based duo OC & Verde, after releases on top labels like Bedrock, Truesoul and Yoshitoshi. The duo deliver their deft touch as always of the Korowai EP, with the suspense-filled title track delivering all the brooding and melodic dancefloor drama you require - and some! "Panther" up next delivers a deeper, slinker and hypnotic sound on more of a progressive house tip.
Review: Amsterdam based Joran Van Pol (m_nus/SCI+TEC/Elevate) is up next on Matador's always reliable Rukus imprint, following up some terrific releases of late by Carlo Ruetz, Alex Preda and Russell. Pol absolutely nails that massive main-room techno sound on the Immediate EP, with four sonic weapons that are worthy of being in any serious DJ's arsenal. From the tunnelling and mental journey down the vortex that is the title track, while for something much more melodic you can try the hypnotic groove of "Captitious" - and be assured its still on the moody side. Finally, channelling that classic mid-noughties minimal vibe is the deep and druggy atmospherics of "Invery".
Review: The mighty Matador is back on his brilliant Ruckus imprint, that has been bringing in the goods of late with electrifying releases by the likes of Carlo Ruetz, Alex Preda and Russell - to name but a few. The label head honcho serves up half a dozen peak time executions on the Air EP, that are aimed squarely at the main room. From the brooding and slinky dancefloor drama of "Itajai" with its buzzing synth melody, or the euphoric progressive house style of "Moonman" or "Shamen" - the latter led by an enchanting vocal reminiscent of Dead Can Dance's Brendan Perry. Finally, the emotive and bittersweet title track is perfect for those heads-down moments in the club, particularly under the strobe light.
Review: Rising star Carlo Ruetz steps up to the plate next on Rukus for some brooding and hard hitting techno weapons - which are deadset on the peak time. Following up some top releases on m_nus, SCI+TEC and Senso Sounds, his sonic aesthetic is right at home here on Matador's imprint. From the seething, dystopian atmosphere of the slow burning "Dimensions", or the tunnelling and strobe-lit tension of "Stars" through to the industrial-edges peak time onslaught of "Dusk" - this highly respected producer from Northern Germany continues to impress with his tightly engineered groove experiments.
Review: It's over to rising Romanian producer Alex Preda next on Matador's Rukus imprint, following up killer releases by L.A.'s Shaded and newcomer Russell. The Amsterdam based artist serves up some powerful main room techno tools on the Mingea EP. Beginning with the evocative and mesmerising title track, which soon leads into the tripped-out tunnel vision of "Abut". There's some great remixes on offer too, the Hot Creations affiliated Cuartero delivers a reduced mini-funk perspective of "Mingea" which is perfect for the afterhours, while Maeve head honcho The Drifter delivers an adrenalised rendition of "Abut" that powers away in fierce and strobe-lit fashion - perfect for making that transition into the peak time.
Review: Matador's Rukus imprint returns with a killer EP by Russell - a skilled studio veteran with 20 years experience who returns to making club music, after taking time out to pursue a career in music education. Following up a killer remix for rising star Shaded recently, he strikes out on his own on this sleek collection of tracks. Seething big room techno that's big on atmosphere and employs a clever use of melody on "Warcall", while the brooding dancefloor drama of "Kovas" brings a feeling of tension and suspense: to lead in with the peak time material soon after! This is followed up by an absolutely adrenalised and euphoric rendition by the inimitable Eats Everything which we were impressed by, equally so by Spanish hero Coyu's banging perspective of "Warcall" which lunges straight for the jugular
Review: Florido has previously released on Minus and now make his debut on another on Rukus, a label owned by another Hawtin affiliate, Matador. The title track is a flowing, good time affair, with chords surging and building over a rolling groove. On "Nagual", the London-based Italian DJ steers his sound in a darker direction - drums roll incessantly as a backdrop for murky, hazy synths. "Quantic" marks another change in approach. This time Florido veers into a pulsing hypnotic, acid-coated groove, the most trance-influenced track on the release. The pumping "Touch", an arrangement tailor-made for big room Ibiza clubs, rounds out this excellent EP.
Review: Hailing from Rostock in Germany, Carlo Ruetz is one of the most exciting and intriguing names in electronic music today. With his DJ sets already rated by techno aficionados for over a decade, his debut LP in 2013 placed him firmly in the spotlight. There was no real plan for Ruetz on his new EP. "I often sit in the studio for a long time and try many things out. This is the origin of most ideas - every producer knows that." The works were created in his head, then those ideas were worked out in the studio. Then last year, at the Amsterdam Dance Event, he talked about demos with Minus' Matador: who asked him if he could give him something for his label Rukus. Without further ado: here it is!
Review: The fourth release on Rukus shows how far its owner, Matador, aka Gavin Lynch has come. Having made his name with releases on Richie Hawtin's Minus, the title track seems to channel John Carpenter's dystopian soundtracks and fuse them with a contemporary disco-noir groove. "The Vicar" sees the Irish producer make a return of sorts to club techno with its buzzing bass and stuttering vocal, but Lynch quickly makes a shift back to the disco sound he explored on the title track with "Space Charmer". There, an ominous, throbbing bass and minor key trance hooks vie for attention and the interplay creates wonderful tension. "Clowns" and "Bells And Whistles" are like halfway houses between Lynch's techno and newly-found disco style, with the latter impressing thanks to its incessant cow bells.
Review: Stadium-conquering techno artist Matador drops a second set of remixed tracks from his recent Ructions album. With a focus on club-focused grooves throughout, the Irish producer's choice of remixers nonetheless keeps the sound varied. On Anna's take on "Stanleys" that manifests itself through tight claps, a leaden bass and enormous waves of filtered effects. The Paco Osuna take on "Back to Bass" is faster but not as stark-sounding with the Spanish producer dropping a rolling party techno interpretation. Patrick Topping's take on "Inceptions" revolves around sharp drums and dense percussion and has more in common with Anna than Osuna's remixes, while Pig & Dan's version of "Remember" is a speaker-leveling slice of peak-time bass-heavy techno.
The Enemy (feat Felix Da Housecat) - (6:33) 122 BPM
Remember - (8:23) 124 BPM
Stanleys - (7:21) 124 BPM
Rizzle - (4:23) 124 BPM
The Resort - (6:26) 123 BPM
Strings For Life - (6:08) 120 BPM
Review: After a string of high-profile releases for Richie Hawtin's Minus, Gavin Lynch aka Matador delivers a new album for Ruckus. It sounds like the Irish producer has matured as a producer. At times, Ructions seethes with an understated menace. This is evident on "Drifting", a drawn out groove with menacing bass pulsing underneath. "Back 2 Bass" follows a similar trajectory, augmented by a repetitive vocal sample and sirens firing off into the ether. There is still a lot of big-room style tracks - just check the ominous "Inceptions" and the heads-down pulses "Klout & Bones" - but this album works best when Lynch explores unexpected directions, like the subtle, sub-aquatic house of "Harcourt Street".